Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Links: A thing I learned recently

As I listened to a recent Surprisingly Awesome podcast entitled "Broccoli" I had a mini-spiritual "we are one" moment. For I learned something about this wild plant Brassica oleracea, that really made me go "this is awesome!"

According to wikipedia:
Brassica oleracea is the species of plant that includes many common foods as cultivars, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy, kohlrabi and kai-lan.
Enterprising farmers over the last several thousand years contributed to domesticating several distinct lineages of B. oleracea, each amplifying different parts of this wild plant to produce several vegetable varieties, or cultivar groups or subspecies (“ssp.”): kale and collard greens (ssp. acephala), Chinese broccoli (ssp. alboglabra), red and green cabbages (ssp. capitata), savoy cabbage (ssp.sabauda) kohlrabi (ssp. gongylodes), Brussels sprouts (ssp. gemmifera), broccoli (ssp. italica), and cauliflower (ssp. botrytis). These varieties look dramatically – sometimes comically – different but are nonetheless considered to be the same species because they are all still interfertile, capable of mating with one another and producing fertile offspring.
So all these different vegetables are like different breeds of dog. In principle, just as you can get a doberman and chihuahua to produce an offspring, you can get cabbage and broccoli to have sex with each other.

Isn't that wild!

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